The Arrive Alive website received the following interesting request for assistance:
“Tour bus drivers: Good day. I would like to know if there are any laws in SA governing the maximum amount of hours a tour bus driver should be allowed to drive per day. If so, how strictly are they applied?
I travelled in a bus overseas some years ago and was impressed at how well the drivers were monitored. I expected the same standard here in SA but was very disappointed to see that this is not the case.
I have now been on two bus tours in this country and until I am satisfied that there are laws governing the implementation of relief drivers I will not be undertaking any more bus tours in future. I would appreciate your feedback in this regard as I suspect tour companies are exploiting their drivers and this will eventually lead to serious accidents. Kind regards”
This question unfortunately do not mention the specific tour bus operator, we decided to approach our friends at Intercape for guidance on what the position should be. We received the following response:
“Our tour drivers are not allowed to drive continuously for more than 4 Hours, if the km exceeds more than 400km we will put on an additional driver to relief the first driver.
Driver safety as well as passenger safety is a high priority for us at all times, therefore we work out the amount of km that will be travelled and according to that we determine if an additional driver will be needed or not.
Eg. If it is a local tour in JHB when we collect from ORTIA they do a city tour then to the hotel and later take them to dinner we have only one driver as there is some good time for the driver to rest and stretch is legs while the clients are busy checking in the hotel before leaving for dinner.
If the clients wants to leave from Johannesburg to Durban for a weekend we will definitely put two drivers on the coach to make sure that there is no driver fatigue setting in.
We have 24 Hours operations that tracks the vehicles and also driver behaviour at all times.
I really hope that this information helps if you need anything else please do not hesitate to contact me.
Regional Charter Manager”